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In the world of painkillers, Vicodin is a household name. However, a more unsettling narrative of addiction often emerges when its use goes beyond the prescribed boundaries. What typically begins as a quest for relief can push many down the spiraling path of substance use, reaching a point where it becomes almost impossible to stop without professional help. At Avalon Malibu, we are acutely aware of how quickly Vicodin use can turn into addiction and are committed to helping individuals navigate their way back to hope, health and sobriety.
Vicodin is the familiar brand name of a prescription drug that combines acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer, with the narcotic opioid hydrocodone. While Vicodin is effective for treating acute and chronic pain temporarily, it can become habit-forming and lead to dependency or addiction if used for long periods of time.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Vicodin is one of the most commonly prescribed opioids in the United States. Furthermore, despite making up less than 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes 99% of the global Vicodin supply. This widespread use and prevalence means many people have access to the drug, either through a prescription or from a household member, making it easier to become mentally and physically addicted.
Vicodin is a popularly prescribed drug that is considered highly addictive. It works by targeting opioid receptors in the brain to block pain messages, bringing about a sense of relief. However, because it combines acetaminophen with hydrocodone, a potent narcotic, Vicodin may also produce a heightened sense of well-being or euphoria, making it prone to misuse.
Even when taken as exactly prescribed, opioids cause changes in the brain that can result in physical dependence. For some people, this dependency may evolve into problematic use, intense cravings and addiction. Using the drug recreationally, in higher doses than recommended or alongside other substances further increases the risk of addiction.
As the brain and body begin to rely on Vicodin to function normally, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms occur when use is suddenly stopped or decreased. Over time, tolerance also develops, meaning more of the drug is needed to achieve the same effects. These changes make it difficult to quit using opioids and quicken the journey toward opioid use disorder.
Misusing Vicodin comes with certain risks, including dependency, addiction and overdose. As an opioid, hydrocodone affects areas of the brain that control essential functions like breathing. When taken in large amounts, it can cause intense drowsiness, decreased heart rate and respiratory depression, making an overdose potentially fatal. Combining Vicodin with alcohol and benzodiazepines amplifies these effects, further slowing breathing.
The rise in opioid-related overdoses over recent years has sounded alarms worldwide. Vicodin, among other opioids, has been a significant player in this epidemic. As prescriptions surged, so did incidents of misuse and overdose, impacting not just individuals but entire communities. According to the CDC, prescription opioids like Vicodin were involved in 24% of overdose-related deaths in 2020 — a 16% increase from just one year prior.
The tragic reality is that even those adhering to prescribed doses can face the risk of overdose if unaware of potential drug interactions or excessive consumption. Knowledge and caution are crucial in mitigating these risks and safeguarding your health.
Vicodin, when misused over extended periods, carries significant risks that are two-fold: the direct consequences of the drug itself and the profound implications of its withdrawal. As an individual becomes dependent on Vicodin, the body undergoes a series of adaptations, acclimating to its presence. As a result, the brain’s natural pain and reward circuits are disrupted, leading to an overwhelming reliance on the drug to function normally.
This dependency manifests more acutely during periods of abstinence. Opioid withdrawal is notoriously difficult to overcome, with symptoms that include muscle aches, excessive yawning, restlessness, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia and more. The intense discomfort and strong cravings that arise during withdrawal can make it exceedingly difficult for individuals to stop or cut back, creating a cycle where the fear of withdrawal drives continued use.
For these reasons, detox in a rehab facility like Avalon Malibu is often the first step in overcoming Vicodin addiction. Undergoing detox in a safe, supportive environment ensures that withdrawal symptoms are properly managed, keeping individuals as comfortable as possible and reducing the risk of relapse. Additionally, it helps lay the groundwork for subsequent therapeutic interventions and sets the stage for lasting recovery.
Vicodin use has long-term effects that can negatively impact an individual’s health and well-being. Many people become dependent on Vicodin before they even realize it. They may have begun using the drug to manage their short-term pain, but then find that they are mentally and physically caught in a cycle of dependence and abuse that they never expected. With time, the impact of addiction and fear of withdrawal often have mental, emotional and physical effects that need to be addressed by professionals in order to regain wellness.
At Avalon Malibu, we believe in a journey of hope, transformation and recovery for those struggling with Vicodin addiction. Located alongside the Pacific Ocean, our treatment center provides an idyllic backdrop for health and healing, promoting a sense of renewed wellness that helps clients rediscover their potential and learn how to lead a healthy, sober lifestyle.
Our team uses a multidisciplinary approach to help each individual achieve lasting recovery, combining evidence-based modalities with holistic therapies that address the mental, physical and emotional aspects of addiction. Some of the techniques we use include:
The techniques we utilize are rooted in evidence-based practices and a deep understanding of the complexities of addiction. Our goal is to equip clients with the practical tools, resources and strategies they need to navigate the path to recovery and achieve long-term sobriety.
When clients arrive at the Cottage House at Avalon Malibu, they are relieved to know that they will be receiving customized treatment to ease withdrawal and overcome Vicodin addiction. During every stage of recovery, our dedicated team works together to provide the ultimate in personalized care, delivered with respect, compassion, kindness and hospitality.
Our licensed team of medical professionals and therapists includes experts specializing in psychiatry, internal medicine, addiction and neurology to meet each client’s unique needs and address the mental, physical and emotional aspects of substance use. We also have certified specialists in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, neurofeedback and other holistic approaches on staff to ensure a well-balanced experience that promotes health and healing.
During treatment, clients also benefit from our nutritional programs, where we use supplements such as vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium and other medications to help calm the muscle aches, insomnia and anxiety. By alleviating these symptoms and prioritizing both mental and physical health, clients have an improved ability to learn new coping skills, practice relapse prevention and get the most out of individual and group therapy sessions.
At Avalon Malibu, we know how hard it can be to overcome Vicodin addiction. That’s why we provide a safe, luxurious haven where holistic care meets evidence-based treatments, ensuring that each individual is empowered to regain their health and build a healthier, sober lifestyle. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, don’t wait to seek help. Contact or call us today at 866-332-1068 to learn more about our comprehensive treatment programs and how they can guide you toward a brighter, addiction-free future.